And Now, Jon's Last Moment of Zen
August 6, 2015 8:10 AM   Subscribe

Tonight is the night. As announced in February, Jon Stewart hosts his final episode of The Daily Show after 16 and a half years.

The tributes have been flying, many of them on the show itself, from last night's Jon Stewart: A Man Who Was on TV and last week's interruption by WWE Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins to look back at Stewart "selling out" (including Jon's legendary jabs at Arby's, which sponsored the penultimate show and ran ads thanking Jon).

Rolling Stone joins the chorus, calling TDS "an intro to the news, an analysis of the news and an emotional interpretation of the news." E! lists the 10 Things We'll Miss the Most, Besides Everything. Slate compiles The Most Jon Stewart Moments. Politico has 15 Memorable Quips and Conversations with politicians. Quartz brings us Jon Stewart's Seven Most Serious Moments. Even the Des Moines Register lists TDS's Top 10 Iowa Moments.

The set will go to the Newseum in Washington D.C., presumably leaving successor host Trevor Noah sitting on some crates for a couple of weeks until the new furniture arrives.
posted by Etrigan (111 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
 
John Stewart is a national treasure and I will sorely miss watching TDS without him.

I don't envy Mr. Noah. He's got some really big clown shoes to fill.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:16 AM on August 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


At long last, an end to his reign of destruction, obliteration, annihilation, evisceration, and demolition.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 8:17 AM on August 6, 2015 [14 favorites]


At long last, an end to his reign of destruction, obliteration, annihilation, and demolition

To say nothing of his slamming, ripping, and generally tearing into.
posted by jedicus at 8:23 AM on August 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Mr. Sophie and I have been pretty frequent TDS watchers since the beginning and have gotten more religious over the last 10 years. We rarely miss an episode. Jon Stewart's anger and frustration matches my own so frequently, I find myself wishing he would go on. But for his own sanity, I am glad he is transferring the mantle.

I'm not sure that anyone will have his insight, chutzpah, his ability to make all of the connections in such an engaging and entertaining way, but we'll have to see.

Dog-speed Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz - Yasher Koach!
posted by Sophie1 at 8:29 AM on August 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'll admit that I haven't watched very often since the end of the Bush era but he was beacon of light for me during those first years of the millennium.
posted by octothorpe at 8:30 AM on August 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


I just spent a big part of the afternoon reading NYT’s “Jon Stewart and ‘The Daily Show’: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at 9 Essential Moments” and watching the great video clips they included. So I feel a need to mention the article.
posted by Martijn at 8:34 AM on August 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Slate link is a collection of good clips, but Jesus, the Comedy Central policy of all autoplaying videos makes that page awful.
posted by protocoach at 8:37 AM on August 6, 2015


Ahhh. This is the fix of 2000-2008ish era Daily Show clips I was missing after watching the TDS-produced clip show last night.
posted by deludingmyself at 8:39 AM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


my face is sad
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:44 AM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sad end of an era. But I'm excited for Trevor, at least. I've seen two of his live shows recently and I get the impression he's really honing his "Daily Show" tone. Lots on the media portrayal of white terrorism, police brutality, race in America, etc. He's able to discuss outrageous injustice in a way that's on point, but has a sense of humor, so it doesn't make you just want to lie down and die. You could see how much the job was weighing on Stewart, in the last few years.

Trevor's American accents have gotten better, too. The audience was eating it up; his sets were great, compared to his spots on the show, which weren't bad but which didn't feel totally him and didn't totally land with the audience.

I'm really looking forward to the perspective he'll be able to bring.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 8:47 AM on August 6, 2015


Is there going to be anywhere this can be streamed live online? I'd love to see the last John Stewart episode live but I don't have access to cable at the moment.
posted by JDHarper at 8:48 AM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm glad Stewart timed his departure to give Noah the 2016 election to work with. It's already proving itself to be a comedy goldmine. He'll have a ton of material to work with to hone his hosting skills.

Still, I'm very sad to see Stewart go. He's becoming such a fixture of American media and was absolutely essential during the Bush years.
posted by Sangermaine at 8:51 AM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is there going to be anywhere this can be streamed live online?

Streamed live? No. But the entire run of The Daily Show is found at their website. It will be available just a few hours after airtime.
posted by hippybear at 8:54 AM on August 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


I can't watch the final show live tonight because I have tickets to see Book of Mormon, but man I'm gonna have to avoid social media until I can watch it on my DVR or online tomorrow.

I got to finally see the show live last month, and it was so great. Colin Quinn was the guest and I love just watching him banter with his friends. But I also love seeing him just ask really uncomfortable questions of politicians and the like.

Even though you can see how much energy he's lost in the later seasons, the show is still consistently good thanks to the crew and correspondents. I'm really going to him though, but he made sure that when he left everyone who stayed will have a job with Trevor Noah at the helm, so hopefully some of the magic will still be there.

JDHarper, you can watch all the episodes online, and ad block plus for firefox will block all the ads between segments.

on preview, what hippybear said.
posted by numaner at 8:56 AM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jon Stewart is great, and his brilliant writing and deft comic mind will be sorely missed.

I only wish that, as a performer, he had been more nourished by laughter than by applause. Daily Show studio audiences are the worst, and their incessant need to break into wild, screaming ovations at the drop of a hat so interrupt the rhythms of the comedy that, for me, it has made the show nigh on unwatchable for many years now. And it's not entirely their fault—they have obviously been conditioned to respond that way by the show's producers.

I hope the new guy gets to bring on board his own people, and that they hate that kind of crap as much as I do.

But I'm looking forward to following the next phase of Stewart's career. I'd love to see him move away from TV and focus more on making films.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:10 AM on August 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


WSJ: Final Episode Bingo Card. It's not a solid image, but an interactive page.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:13 AM on August 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


Thanks to him from the bottom of my heart. I haven't watched regularly in years, but he kept me sane in the terrible collision of my adolescence with the Freedom Fry era of U.S. politics. The only thing I could stand to watch on November 3, 2004 was his show.
posted by sallybrown at 9:22 AM on August 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


The tempter sat on Jon Stewart's shoulder.

"But what if there were ten Republican candidates in the first debate?"

"Nope. I'm still retiring."

"And what if one of them was...Donald Trump?"

"Still retiring."

"What if Trump was in first place?"

[through gritted teeth] "Still...retiring...!"
posted by straight at 9:22 AM on August 6, 2015 [115 favorites]


If you're in Toronto, the Bloor Cinema is having a free "Best Of" screening and then streaming the last show live tonight. Free! A great theatre and you can drink beer.
posted by chococat at 9:27 AM on August 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


I hope the new guy gets to bring on board his own people, and that they hate that kind of crap as much as I do.

No. The Flophouse gotsta get paid. Popeyes, hook polish, and postage for Ziggy spec scripts ain't free.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:43 AM on August 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


Count me as another person soothed by Jon Stewart's rage throughout the Bush years. I like a lot of what he's done. Wyatt Cenac's recent story about their falling out disappointed me. Having spent so many years watching the show, I really expected better from Stewart.
posted by chaiminda at 9:46 AM on August 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Thanks for that, chococat! Gonna try to make it there tonight...
posted by tickingclock at 9:46 AM on August 6, 2015


Arby's buying an ad last night was a nice move, and the ad was well done. A montage of Jon's Arby's jokes, followed by the text, 'We're not sure why, but we are going to miss you."
posted by COD at 9:48 AM on August 6, 2015 [10 favorites]


I've never been a regular viewer, so my main memory of TDS was watching it at a friend's house the night Bush got reelected. It was a party that turned into a wake.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:50 AM on August 6, 2015


chococat, it says that tickets are no longer available. Were there free tickets that people were supposed to reserve, or were there never any tickets to begin with?
posted by tickingclock at 9:59 AM on August 6, 2015


Wyatt Cenac's recent story about their falling out disappointed me.

Cenac's appearance on Maron's WTF podcast will not only let you get to hear him tell it in his own words and his own voice, but you'll get to understand Cenac's past and his struggles, which were a fuckton a lot more than I realized they were based on just knowing him through his TDS stint.
posted by hippybear at 10:07 AM on August 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


chococat, it says that tickets are no longer available
Ugh, I just saw that it was sold out. Sorry!
You had to reserve tickets but I guess they went pretty quick. I'm a member and they emailed about it a long time ago. Maybe mods can delete that to avoid disappointment? Sorry again.
posted by chococat at 10:16 AM on August 6, 2015


MetaFilter: Maybe mods can delete that to avoid disappointment?
posted by hippybear at 10:23 AM on August 6, 2015 [11 favorites]


So sad for myself. Over the years Stewart has saved my mental health, informed me, and made me proud. But delighted for him. He certainly has earned his retirement.
posted by bearwife at 10:24 AM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm a bit shocked that in all the laudations that Stewart has gotten in the past while, few have mentioned his work to get 911 First Responders the health care they need for the horrible damage done to their bodies and his work to get veteran care improved (which hasn't been as effective, but has helped).

Those are two real world issues that probably would not have been addressed in the ways they have been if not for Stewart and his use of his megaphone.
posted by hippybear at 10:27 AM on August 6, 2015 [7 favorites]


Exactly what I meant, hippybear. Those aren't the only times that Stewart has moved the dial toward making things better but they certainly were some of the moments one felt proud to be a Stewart enthusiast.
posted by bearwife at 11:17 AM on August 6, 2015


The Arby's ad, if you want to watch it. No idea what he has against Jamocha shakes, but, still, a nice tribute.
posted by theora55 at 11:32 AM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: Maybe mods can delete that to avoid disappointment?

TW: Disappointment!
posted by resurrexit at 11:42 AM on August 6, 2015


He can quit if he wants, but really would it have killed him to go ONE MORE WEEK? I mean where am I supposed to get my analysis of the debate tonight? Twitter?
posted by fungible at 11:51 AM on August 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


where am I supposed to get my analysis of the debate tonight? Twitter?

The Nightly Show?
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:45 PM on August 6, 2015


I like Arby's.
posted by jonmc at 12:49 PM on August 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


I hope he gives a shout out to Chris Hardwick, given his accidental part in getting Chris Hardwick to turn his career around.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:13 PM on August 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't be surprised if that scheduling was deliberate. I remember a lot of Republican press conferences taking place on Friday right after The Daily Show started a hiatus.
posted by ckape at 1:35 PM on August 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


I mean where am I supposed to get my analysis of the debate tonight?

Larry Wilmore will give it a shot. And soon, very soon, St Colbert will return to the airwaves and save us all. Behold he shall fill the void left by the prophets Letterman and Stewart and he will banish the insipid Fallon to The Pit of Obscurity.
posted by Ber at 1:38 PM on August 6, 2015


I haven't watched as much lately just because I don't have the time but when I did I never missed the show. The first cat my wife and I had was named Smapdi after the 'kid' who wrote in questions on the News 4 Kids segment. We got the cat as a rescue and that night while getting to know him, Smapdi asked about what happens when there's a slow news week and the cat had a name. WOWZERS that name used to bother people!

I hope the spirit of the show lives on but it's going to be hard for Trevor Noah to get traction. There are so many more places to get media now than when Stewart took over and people seem to be less loyal to any one show, network, time slot, whatever. At the least I hope they give the show time to succeed or fail on its own instead of pulling the plug early which seems to happen sooner and sooner lately.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 2:00 PM on August 6, 2015


I have no idea how I am going to get through the 2016 election now. Do I have to start drinking again? idk if my liver can handle this, is there a transplant waiting list i can just sign up for in advance
posted by poffin boffin at 2:29 PM on August 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


I wouldn't be surprised if that scheduling was deliberate.

YES. FoxNews' first Totally Stewart-Proof Event. (maybe he'll do one one-liner and get a standing ovation, but that's all) I have to believe it was all the network's doing because FN's Roger Ailes is more savvy than all the 10 debaters combined. Which is why I'm kinda relieved Ailes has renewed his contract that ends this year... if he were free to directly manage the Republican nominee's campaign, American Democracy would be DOOMED.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:31 PM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Flophouse gotsta get paid.

I don't know about Dan, but Elliot is out.
posted by wotsac at 3:19 PM on August 6, 2015


So Arbys has to pay to repeat all the free promotion Jon Stewart gave the throughout the years but to date Fox News has not had to pay a dime for the free 10 minutes of advertising Stewart gave them every night for 16 years.
posted by any major dude at 4:59 PM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know about Dan, but Elliot is out.
posted by wotsac at 3:19 PM on August 6 [+] [!]

Has anyone gotten a comment from the House Cat about this?
posted by gc at 5:27 PM on August 6, 2015


If the new host doesn't keep up Stewart's standards on TDS, FoxNews is going to need to double its budget for advertising/promotion.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:49 PM on August 6, 2015


Thank you for this. The Daily Show was such a formative part of my interest in politics that I felt obligated to put together an appropriate send-off à la the Colbert finale, but never got any further with it by last night than an incomplete selection of my personal favorite clips. So seeing this nice round-up really took a load off.

It shouldn't go to waste, though, so here in no particular order are some of my top TDS moments:

The full theme song, "Dog on Fire" by Bob Mould (as performed by They Might Be Giants). They also did an alternate performance of the track at 4:45 in this podcast.

The heartbreaking post-9/11 monologue (YouTube), which later inspired Jon's fierce crusade against the appalling blockade of health benefits for 9/11 first responders

America: The Book! A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction

Barack Obama's Path to the Presidency retrospective

A two-part tour de force on the politics of class warfare

On the Gabby Giffords shooting

Jon's pitch-perfect Glenn Beck parody

On the 2009 CIA torture reports, Peggy Noonan says "just keep walking"

President Bush, what is your job?
Cheney's Got a Gun
Dick Cheney and the 4th branch of government
Deja vu and the CIA director

Me Lover's Pizza with Crazy Broad: Stewart on Donald Trump's pizza pit-stop

John Oliver cracks Jon up with a list of Britain's Fallen Soldiers

Stewart eviscerates Stewart! A look back at Jon's most memorable impressions. (The Queen says "hello")

Ted Stevens vs. Robert Byrd: Time for a good ol' fashioned Coot-Off!

Pancakes and Sausage -- On a Stick!

Fox News' False Statements
Tone Def Poetry Jam: Fox's hypocritical reaction to Common
Chaos on Bullshit Mountain
The Republican primary field's Romney hypocrisy

Jon's extended interview with "Mad Money" Jim Cramer

Is John McCain going into crazy base world? Has the Straight Talk Express taken a detour into Bullshit Town?

Louis CK deconstructs a fart (YouTube)

The Giant Head of Brian Williams is such a dick

The 2012 Stewart-O'Reilly debate

A time-lapse of every single episode
posted by Rhaomi at 5:50 PM on August 6, 2015 [58 favorites]


Rhaomi you are the best. Just the absolute best.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:17 PM on August 6, 2015


I really wish Jon would have Patty on and together they sign off with, "Ding. Ding."
posted by ob1quixote at 8:19 PM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know about Dan, but Elliot is out.

Cite? I roll to disbelieve.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:36 PM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks, fffm -- but that literally was just all the thedailyshow.com links from my comment history plus whichever random favorites occurred to me over the last month or so and went into TDSpost.txt. (And it's not even the whole list! I left out the vulgar chyrons, his Obama interviews, the Rally to Restore Sanity, NAMBLA, that article about how the research team operates, etc.)

Also, having watched regularly only from ~2004 to 2012-ish, it is WOEFULLY incomplete -- there's so much more material you could mine from Reddit, TVTropes, Wikipedia, the show's own supercuts, or any of the in-depth round-ups in the FPP. In hindsight I was not nearly a big enough superfan to try tackling the show's entire run like that.

As for the finale, I was a little disappointed by the "flavors of bullshit" segment -- like his Rally to Restore Sanity speech, it felt like it couldn't have possibly lived up to expectations of such a momentous final monologue (especially as the next election kicks off).

But the extended shout-out to all the correspondents, staff, and guests was great, and Stephen's utterly sincere farewell was just beautiful, in the spirit of all the best times when he went off-script to make Jon lose his composure (see: Ted Hitler). This show has nurtured so many remarkable talents, something I hope Noah's able to maintain and continue as a force for good.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:26 PM on August 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


I liked how they handled Wyatt Cenac. And I'm pissed that Mick Foley wasn't in the rolls.
posted by Etrigan at 9:30 PM on August 6, 2015 [5 favorites]




Holy shit that time-lapse. It makes ME feel old. I remember being in high school, watching the Daily Show with Craig Killborn and reading commenters on the internet basically saying how the show would completely suck now that this Jon Steward [sic] was the host. Not long after he started, I think I stopped watching for various reasons, and didn't pick it up again until a few years later in college. It was part of my daily viewing until I gave up cable a few years ago. Now do one for Colbert too, since I remember watching the first episode of the Report almost ten years ago. FFS
posted by bonje at 10:12 PM on August 6, 2015


So in Toronto, Seth Meyers is on right after the Daily Show and it's such a sad, fucking awful juxtaposition I want to MURDER MY TV. Ya burnt indeed.
posted by chococat at 10:16 PM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


So I just got home from the best, saddest wrap party ever. We will all miss him greatly, and hopefully you'll all watch when we welcome Trevor into the fold.

If anyone has questions that I can safely answer, I'll answer them.

And yeah, Jon was an amazing host, but even more he was the best, kindest, most generous boss any of us has ever had.
posted by nevercalm at 12:13 AM on August 7, 2015 [40 favorites]


nevercalm: I'd love to hear another account of Wyatt Cenac's departure, because the way he told it to Marc Maron leads me to think that "any of us but one ever had" is a more accurate description.
posted by hippybear at 1:15 AM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks for your work, nevercalm. I just finished watching the show with tears in my eyes. As many others have said, TDS helped me laugh through some dark motherfucking times, both on national and personal levels.

I'm looking forward to what Stewart does next but this is still a sad moment. The show's been such a constant for almost my entire adult life. I don't even know what to compare this to - maybe if the Simpsons went off the air, though unlike the Simpsons TDS never declined in quality.

My ex-wife and I caught a live taping shortly after Katrina when we were living in NYC and it definitely helped to make sense of that awful tragedy. Likewise, Indecision 2000 helped a slightly younger me realize that the entire nation wasn't filled with nincompoops, that there were people out there who shared me and my friends' sense of disbelief at what was happening.

I'm so happy that this piece of art - and it is art - was allowed to flourish. It's meant a lot to me and there's no goddamn way I won't miss it.
posted by item at 1:16 AM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


TDS and Colbert Report were sanity grippers for me, growing up as a child during 9/11 and feeling utterly confused and disoriented by all the mainstream media. I started watching it as early as junior high, and felt very thankful for Jon Stewart's never-ending vigilance and sparkling humor. Figuring out that I shouldn't trust anything that the mainstream media said was a complete gift that has saved me time and time again, in not only how I relate to the world, but also my friendships and my family.

His final message , "Stay Vigilant," was absolutely perfect - entertainment and ignorance and fearmongering are all mixing together to an absurd degree, and TDS was a definitely shining spotlight that grabbed you and America and asked, "What are you doing?!?! right now?!?! Pay attention!!"

I will stay vigilant, Jon, if only because it honors the child/youngadult/highschoolstudent, and now college graduate, that still is deeply concerned. My critical thinking and acerbic comments will never stop!
posted by yueliang at 1:38 AM on August 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


My work schedule precluded me from watching this on demand late at night....

And the opening segment online was excellent, but I have to admit, I burst into tears when I saw Wyatt run onstage for the group hug and seemed to be more enthusiastic than others about it. And Colbert's speech (I have no idea if it was from the writer's room or from Colbert's brain) was really beautiful.
posted by hippybear at 2:44 AM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


And the second segment reminded me of when Jon kept the show running during the writer's strike because he wanted to make sure that all these people got paid instead of laid off for god-knows-how-long, and he just winged every episode for a while.
posted by hippybear at 2:51 AM on August 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I drank and cried
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:22 AM on August 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Here's the link for the show.

It's always amazed me that Stewart and The Daily Show on Comedy Central have done a much better job at reporting the news than anybody else, and is still funny. If the US had a Living National Treasure designation like Japan's, Stewart has earned it.

Looking forward to whoever steps up next. Fallon is mildly amusing, but there's no cultural or political component. I have such hopes for Colbert. And I look forward to seeing what Stewart gets up to, after he has a chance to rest.
posted by theora55 at 7:23 AM on August 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Looking forward to whoever steps up next.

John Oliver is doing a pretty good job.
posted by Pendragon at 9:31 AM on August 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Mayor of NYC Bill de Blasio made an official proclamation that yesterday is officially "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Day"
posted by numaner at 9:37 AM on August 7, 2015


They got John McCain to do a (sarcastic, but still he did it) goodbye, with the puppet. Aww. They even got Craig Kilborn to offer something.

It wasn't as incredibly cathartic as the Colbert goodbye, but then we knew Colbert was coming back. I hope whatever Stewart goes on to do, it is good for him. I don't care if it's good for us. This is the man who saved political discourse in the United States, saved it, popularized it, and nurtured talent dedicated to continuing it, he deserves some me time. That new talent: Larry Wilmore, the new guy Trevor Noah, Colbert's new show, and most of all John Oliver. Only time will tell if it'll stick and become a tradition that extends down through decades to come. Which isn't to say that Stewart was the first ever, but that kind of commentary had been at a low ebb when he took the role.

Trevor Noah has some awfully big shoes to fill.
posted by JHarris at 9:38 AM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


The dead-end politics of ridicule:
It’s fitting that Jon Stewart’s loving tribute came on the same night as the Republican debate, because the politics of hate-watching the Republican clown-car are the politics he gave us. For most educated, white liberals, being a Democrat now has no other content than feeling superior to Republicans. We spend our time mocking their obviously wrong statements and policies to cover up the fact that we have no real idea of what the right thing to say or do would be. Our politics are reduced to asking “where’s the outrage?” — and our disappointment about the lack of sufficient anger covers over the fact that we have no idea how we would harness that anger to produce meaningful change.
It's no comedian's job to change the world, but he did, anyway. We all got the assurance that if you stay above the fray making fun of all the mistakes people make when they're trying to accomplish something, you'll always have the last laugh and that's better than success.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:40 AM on August 7, 2015




We spend our time mocking their obviously wrong statements and policies to cover up the fact that we have no real idea of what the right thing to say or do would be.

This would be super insightful and really force us to take a good long look in the mirror if it were actually a thing that held true in any significant way.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:53 AM on August 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


For most educated, white liberals, being a Democrat now has no other content than feeling superior to Republicans.
Sure, if you discount Obamacare, diplomacy with Iran, organized labor, income inequality, the increasing religiosity of the public sphere, immigration, and the basic functions of government and the means to achieve them. Other than those things, yeah, it's pretty much just smugness that leads people to the polls these days.
posted by Etrigan at 9:57 AM on August 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


I'm so confused by this thread. I always watch The Daily Show first thing the next morning, and I was so excited to hop online, to see what all of you had to say. I expected hundreds of comments--some of them more or less livestreamed during the original airing, some of them retrospectives, some of them just epic link dumps like Rhaomi's amazing contribution. But instead I come here and find... so little? Fewer than 100 comments? Where is everyone? Will more people show up? Is this just a slow-burn, or already is there nothing more to say?

Of course, no matter how much there had been, it wouldn't have been enough for me. I watched the episode this morning, and I just cried my eyes out. I became a ball of snot and tears, and I stayed that way for the entire hour. Nothing could be enough to commemorate the last 16 and a half years. Nothing could have been enough to make up for the hole that's left now.

16 and a half years is almost exactly half of my life. I watched The Daily Show when I was in high school--the showing around 7pm, which I would watch while eating dinner. I watched it when I was in college--either the 11pm or the 1am showing, depending on my mood, on the teeny tiny TV I had in my dorm room. During my summer breaks, my step-dad and I would watch it together on the terrifying wall-sized TV he had at home. Sometimes, I would even watch the re-runs the next day, because I was so young that time was made to be wasted. When I first moved out to grad school, there were a couple of weeks where I didn't have cable, and this was back before every episode streamed online, and my step-dad (half jokingly, half not) called me up at 11pm and left the phone in front of his TV's speakers, so I could at least hear the show. When I first met my (now) husband in grad school, I was shocked to find out he was some sort of crazy person who had no TV, went to bed at 10pm, and got up at 6... But no matter. I'd stay the night with him, then drive home while still crusty and groggy, watch the 7:30am showing, and then go back to sleep for a few more hours. The last few years, I've lost track of its many showing times, as I've instead watched it on Hulu. It's been my morning routine: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart with Coffee and Morning Cereal, after I had taken a shower but before I had dried my hair and gotten ready for work. (And let's not speak of the grumpy and frustrated Monday mornings, when there was no Daily Show to start my day!)

I have counted my hours by The Daily Show. I have grown up with The Daily Show. I have not been an adult without Jon Stewart as a regular fixture in my life.

I don't know how The Daily Show has affected me. I don't know who I would be without it. Am I more or less cynical than I would have been, without its influence? Am I more or less liberal? What bumps and quirks in my sense of humor have been determined by Jon Stewart? I don't know, because a life without The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is just too far removed from the life I have lived. It is just a part of who I am, who I will forever be. I suspect the same can be said about the whole of our political landscape. We can see the edges of the show's influence--we can barely make out the points where its influence is in sharpest relief--but the full extent of it, the full shape of it, is just too close and too immense to fully see.

What is there to say? I can't imagine anything more sweet and lovely, than the hug between Stewart and Colbert, transformed into a group hug including everyone, a hug that Stewart just could not end, could not will to end, even as the show went on. He appeared to me a man compulsive, overcome, with the need and want and the full enormity of emotion, moved to hug, to keep hugging, to embrace and keep embraced. I could understand.
posted by meese at 10:01 AM on August 7, 2015 [14 favorites]


I think it's that we haven't really processed our loss yet, combined with Colbert's exit still being in recent memory.
posted by JHarris at 10:25 AM on August 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


...and Colbert's official reincarnation being exactly one month away. The Real Stephen with his Real Talk Show is going to be watched closely (if not watched by everybody) from Day One. No pressure, man.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:33 AM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think we've all sort of said our piece about TDS by this point, what with halfway talking about it in the Colbert departure threads and Jon's announcement and Trevor's announcement. At this point, it's more about the last couple of weeks' going-away tour than the 16 years before it.
posted by Etrigan at 10:41 AM on August 7, 2015


I should be working but I can't stop lurking all of their instagram accounts for photos from last night. This is simultaneously making me sad and making me smile.
posted by numaner at 11:01 AM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


for those of us still in some kind of post Bruce haze let me remind you there is no overt gender in born to run so we can ALL run away with Brice Springsteen
posted by The Whelk at 11:48 AM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


also wow Ed Helms is SO TALL
posted by The Whelk at 11:49 AM on August 7, 2015


Video of the emotional Colbert segment, for non-U.S. viewers.

A couple questions for nevercalm:

- Is it true there was nothing in the teleprompter during the last part of this bit?

- What happened during the commercial breaks?
posted by Rhaomi at 11:53 AM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "for those of us still in some kind of post Bruce haze let me remind you there is no overt gender in born to run so we can ALL run away with Brice Springsteen"

Not too many men named Wendy.
posted by octothorpe at 11:54 AM on August 7, 2015


I am willing to be called Wendy
posted by The Whelk at 11:59 AM on August 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Whelky" would work, too.
posted by Etrigan at 11:59 AM on August 7, 2015


An additional question for nevercalm, following up on Rhaomi's, about the Colbert speech: How was that prepared?

It honestly looked like Jon Stewart knew nothing about it, and it also seemed like he was actively trying to get out of it. It reminded me a lot of the send-off for John Oliver, when there was some cheesy "last segment" thing and then a "You honestly don't think we'd end it at that, did you?" moment. It was so touching... and I got the feeling that it involved a fair amount of effort and planning from a lot of different people to get something like that on air.

And of course it'd be Colbert to do it. Of course it would. He obviously was speaking for so many people, but of course it would be him. With their history, and his future, and his particular way with words.... Gah, okay, I'm going to go cry a few thousand more tears.
posted by meese at 12:04 PM on August 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


With 3.5 million viewers, this was the second-most-watched TDS episode ever (behind then-Senator Barack Obama's appearance a week before the 2008 election at 3.6 million). Considerably more than Colbert's finale (2.5 million).
posted by Etrigan at 12:16 PM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


3.5 million viewers means that basically 1% of the US public watched this.
posted by hippybear at 12:32 PM on August 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is this just a slow-burn, or already is there nothing more to say?

Personally, I'm just feeling kind of adrift. The late night landscape has had a lot of big changes in the last year or so, with a bunch of hosts leaving or moving or what have you. I was kind of devastated by Craig Ferguson's departure, having watched his Late Late Show fairly religiously since he took on the slot. And then Stephen Colbert left, which even though I wasn't a super regular viewer of the Colbert Report, felt like a crucial piece of satire and discourse was going missing. And then Jon's departure! I can't even process it! Like others have said, Jon Stewart's Daily Show has been absolutely foundational to the way I understand media and politics, and has had a profound role in the ways I criticize and engage with news and politics.

I was 12 during 9/11, still a couple weeks away from getting my US citizenship. (In fact, I think I got my citizenship the same week the Daily Show came back.) In the post-9/11 media landscape, which even 12 year old me immediately recognized as being all about FEAR FEAR FEAR, Stewart's Daily Show was exactly the voice of skepticism and reason and hilarity that I needed to hear. Since then, it's continued to be a very necessary touchstone to me, and an unimaginably welcome relief from a mainstream media that I've perceived as being reactionary and useless for as long as I can remember.

It's helped to have new shows like Larry Wilmore's Nightly Show, and John Oliver's Last Week Tonight, both of which bring some new things to the table and which are already making a bid for being indispensable. (I actually also really enjoy @midnight for being the light-hearted, internet news flipside to the more serious-minded shows.) But jeeze, I don't even know what to do with the fact that Stewart's version of the Daily Show is over. I'm interested to see what Trevor Noah does with the role, I just think I'm still in denial.
posted by yasaman at 12:54 PM on August 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


For all you Americans: here in Europe, Jon Stewart's retirement has been treated exactly as if a head of state had retired or died. You guys might be doing wars a bit off consensus. But you have comedy right on mark.
posted by mumimor at 2:28 PM on August 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


I just want to see a screencap of the Giant Grid of Correspondents/Well-Wishers after everyone (even Cenac! my heart!) was introduced, before they all rushed the stage for the big group hug.

It reminded me a lot of the send-off for John Oliver, when there was some cheesy "last segment" thing and then a "You honestly don't think we'd end it at that, did you?" moment.

My favorite thing about that was how Oliver went on the Bugle the following week and told Andy Zaltzman how the send-off led to him nearly sobbing in public - which is of course, as an Englishman, a Fate Far Worse Than Death.

posted by psoas at 3:05 PM on August 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Here is a series of annotated screencaps of most of the guests.
This is what I imagine Mika doing to endure [Morning] Joe.
posted by maggieb at 3:14 PM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


It reminded me a lot of the send-off for John Oliver, when there was some cheesy "last segment" thing and then a "You honestly don't think we'd end it at that, did you?" moment.

Oliver's sendoff was quite good. Doing the same thing with Michael Che (who had only been there a couple months and was not nearly as important to the show) was pretty funny too.
posted by Gary at 4:14 PM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here is a series of annotated screencaps of most of the guests.

I didn't notice before that Kilborn was "Senior Previous Daily Show Host Correspondent", I love that.

Also there were a lot of jokes in the episode that ran too long and didn't land, and I loved that too, because that's kind of an integral part of the Daily Show for me. Throughout the show, usually multiple times an episode, Stewart often didn't get a laugh from the audience with jokes that you can tell really amused him. Makes it feel more like a real show than something where the audience is told to go nuts on cue to everything.
posted by jason_steakums at 4:25 PM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


What Jon Stewart and Peter Jennings Had in Common

*sigh* I've missed Peter Jennings for so long... When he died, network news died for me.
posted by hippybear at 5:03 PM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Here is a series of annotated screencaps of most of the guests.

But it doesn't have the grid! For whatever reason, that's what really got me.

posted by psoas at 5:06 PM on August 7, 2015


Here's a tweet from Elliot Kalan today, confirming it. And here he links to the farewell video package I saw yesterday. I'd have pointed y'all to it then, but it felt a bit spoilery.
posted by wotsac at 6:20 PM on August 7, 2015


Well, that was bittersweet.

I remember the years before I came out, watching the show with my best friend and roommate who I had fallen for, over a dinner we'd cooked or reheated.

Now he's married and still, we messaged each other as the show gave its goodbyes.
posted by qcubed at 6:45 PM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


“Moment of Zen: Jon Stewart’s Perfect Goodbye,” Andy Greenwald, Grantland, 07 August 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 11:54 PM on August 7, 2015


Hi, sorry for the delay in getting back. We're busy tearing out the old set, which has not changed in over 6 years. Yesterday we took out a section of the audience riser that had actually sunk into the concrete (the floor in the studio is terrible, and is getting jackhammered up and repaired next week).

hippybear, the Wyatt thing came as a shock to a lot of the crew, who are housed in the studio rather than the offices on the second floor. The place really is a huge, huge family, and it pains me to know he had such a terrible experience. I do remember his sendoff tho, which if memory serves was like Oliver's in that they did a mock bit in rehearsal and then pulled a video montage during the show. I remember Wyatt crying onstage and then backstage when he left. He also was back in the building and backstage on occasion, and he also came on as a guest to promote an album, there was no sign of any tension at all. The Monday after the Wyatt thing aired and hit the papers, there was no talk at the show about it that I was privy to, but then we were in the final run and had a shit ton of stuff going on.

So that's it. Someone posted about Daily Show instagram feeds...mine is in my profile, and I've been posting stuff over the last few months and will continue to post pics of the teardown. Obviously I won't have anything up until the next set is revealed on 9/28, but the new set is really gorgeous. I did a (shitty) time-lapse of the Austin run last year that the show put on their website, and I'm doing one of this complete turnaround now, so perhaps I'll post that to projects when the time comes. Thanks all for watching, this thread has brought me to tears a few times. Please come back when Trevor makes his debut!
posted by nevercalm at 3:43 AM on August 8, 2015 [15 favorites]


Where is everyone?

Still processing. Still not quite sure I believe it's over (Stewart's run anyway. I plan to tune in for Trevor). Also, Hulu, so I didn't watch until last night. I, like others have said, felt he really shaped both my own view and that direction of politics. I've drifted in and out of regular daily show viewership, but never strayed for long.

Upset in the landscape is right. Too many bedrock shows have changed or hosts have left. These people are the people that talked to me every night for years. And while I enjoyed the Colbert Report, I never connected the way I did with TDS. (My SO was the opposite in this regard.) Not that I don't adore both, but found myself much more likely to need to tune into Stewart. I have a feeling this isn't really going to hit until a week or two. God. I know I'm going to be grieving about this and that's a weird idea.

16 and a half years is almost exactly half of my life.

Hot damn! I never thought about it like that, but the same is close to true for me. Talk about being indoctrinated. (I say that in the best way.) I frequently tuned into TDS when I wanted to catch up with the world.

Even though you can see how much energy he's lost in the later seasons

I agree with this, but I also got the sense that Bassem Yossef helped reinvigorate Stewart. The few clips I saw through the daily show were like a wacky version of TDS, and I swear Stewart had a shift to be sillier after his first interview with Bossem. Maybe I imagined it, but it did tickle me.

@nevercalm, I have to know, was there ever cross pollination from Metafilter to TDS? Other mefites, or melurkers? (Even if you can't/won't out who.) I have speculated many times that there has to be someone from TDS reading Metafilter; some ideas just seemed so spot on to what was said earlier on Metafilter. I suppose it could just be some ideas are obvious but I'd love to know that TDS and the blue had a closer link than that. They do in my world- both informing my worldview and where I go to seek news and views.

This is going to suck. I wish Stewart well and can't wait to see what he does next. But man. I'm gonna feel lost without him every night.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 4:25 PM on August 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have to know, was there ever cross pollination from Metafilter to TDS?

I'm sorry to say that I don't know, but I do know I hear Reddit mentioned around from time to time, and I know a bunch of the writers are younger and very conscious of the ability they have to start hashtags or fuck with people via social media. If it helps, generally during rehearsal if I don't have any cues I'm usually sitting with the blue open on my phone and glancing around during the down moments.
posted by nevercalm at 5:49 PM on August 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


A couple questions for nevercalm:
- Is it true there was nothing in the teleprompter during the last part of this bit?
- What happened during the commercial breaks?


Sorry, just saw these.

I was behind camera 3 and couldn't see the prompter, but we rehearsed the whip a few times and Colbert didn't do it at all. In the pre-show meeting we heard he was going off script, so we pretty much knew what to expect.

During the commercial breaks it was really heavy. The whole night was really, really, emotional. We all had quivering lips the whole time, so we just kind of did the show as close to normally as possible. What was a little strange was that we shot out of order, which we almost never do...generally if we have a band there is no moment of Zen and act 4 is generally just a second song. But we had the hour, and it was Jon's last night, so out of order it was. I haven't watched what made it to air, so I'm not sure whether you saw all the correspondents come back out, there was a big hug between Wyatt and Jon.
posted by nevercalm at 6:51 PM on August 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm really glad Wyatt went. He was honestly telling Marc Maron he wasn't going to go, and Maron poked at him a bit about that and I think might have talked him into being there.

And no matter what your impression might be of Maron from his tv show or his standup comedy... if you listen to his podcast as part of your regular listening, you realize, the man has been through the fire and has earned wisdom and is worth the fuck listening to.

So good on Wyatt for going. I know neither of these gentlemen personally, but somehow that actually means something to me. I'm sure it meant more to people more directly involved.
posted by hippybear at 8:41 PM on August 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's too bad that the final show is clouded a bit by the Cenac interview--especially since the take on it that went viral doesn't represent the whole interview accurately. Cenac himself says (in the same interview!) that Stewart went on to recommend him as host even after the oft-reported blowup. Also, Cenac's downgrading from correspondent and writer to just correspondent was the result of a contract dispute (quickly glossed over in the interview). Which is not to say that there aren't issues to be explored, but the best take on it is not the gossip (I don't think it's much of a surprise that Stewart might have indeed blown up at Cenac, especially if he felt he was being accused of being a racist), but this article.

That said, I was surprised at Maron's (mature for him, especially given his longstanding beef with Stewart) advice to Cenac to show up, and doubly happy to see Cenac there.
posted by carrienation at 1:52 AM on August 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


My understanding as a longtime employee of the show and as someone who has listened to every episode of Maron's podcast is that Maron has invited Jon on the show multiple times to do what he did a lot in the early episodes, apologize for being himself in the 80s/early 90s, work it out, talk it through and fix it, and Jon wasn't having it. Jon was asked a bunch of times during the warmup why he won't go on Maron's podcast and his answer is always the same: "He knows," and that he'd rather go have coffee someplace and talk about it, not do it on something that is going to live on the web forever and have millions of ears listening.
posted by nevercalm at 6:11 AM on August 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


that totally makes sense to me about maron, especially after louis ck did that tour and says that pretty much nothing has changed between them afterwards. i love marc maron, but i totally understand why some of his colleagues from the early days aren't eager to watch his self-flagellation up close, on air.
posted by nadawi at 7:16 AM on August 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


oh, wait, in looking for the quote from louis ck where he says nothing really changed, i did find marc maron mentioning that he spoke on the phone to louis ck after the obama interview, so maybe it's finally stuck that marc maron has to reach out in ways that aren't about getting people on his show, at least i hope he has.
posted by nadawi at 7:19 AM on August 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


My impression re: Louis CK was that the big multi-hour come to jesus show between him and Maron healed the rift. Since then they've been on each others' shows, kept in touch, etc. I could be a little off bc I've ceased listening to anything but the interview, so no pre-interview crap, none of the guitar noodling at the end.
posted by nevercalm at 7:58 AM on August 9, 2015


after some of that there was an interview that i'm not finding right now where louis ck said that he had hoped the rift had healed but that marc maron only ever called him to get him back on his podcast - i believe this was in reaction to maron saying things were good between them.
posted by nadawi at 8:11 AM on August 9, 2015


in fact, if you watch the episode of louie with maron, they're playing out their continued rift, with louie in maron's spot - that they do this big healing thing and then louie (maron) drops the ball again.
posted by nadawi at 8:12 AM on August 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just went through all the Instagram photos. Now I'm all weepy. This one was a particular gut punch. It's really over, isn't it? 😢
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:55 AM on August 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


This one was a particular gut punch. It's really over, isn't it?

There have been a few moments where I thought "well, we can't go back now," and while I was shooting that I thought that as well. Tomorrow we take apart the desk, and that will be another.
posted by nevercalm at 1:06 PM on August 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


John Oliver cracks Jon up with a list of Britain's Fallen Soldiers

Oh, sweet Jesus. I was on some flight with free TV when the 7:00 replay of that episode aired and you could tell exactly who on the plane was watching from the snorts and sobs of laughter people kept trying to hide from their seatmates. That is hands down my favorite (funny) Daily Show moment ever.

Man, it's sad to see this go, and crazy to think how long it's been a part of my politically-aware life (spoiler: the whole time). As I was a Midwestern military-loving Republican by birth, I went to a Dick Cheney rally with my dad my junior year of high school and agreed with my parents that my bleeding heart liberal history teacher was a communist. I didn't really start to get over that until I started college and my first boyfriend, a stoner anti-military anarchist (I guess I had some latent teenage rebellion to get out of my system), had The Daily Show on in his dorm room during the mid-term elections. At first I resisted the obvious communist indoctrination he was trying to push on me, but the more I watched it the more I started to realize how spot-on everything Jon Stewart pointed out was. I think by the 2004 DNC I had become a complete liberal, was super excited by Barack Obama's speech at the DNC, and had become completely cynical about the media. Sure, there were a lot of reasons I ended up this way, but I tell you what, mission accomplished, Jon Stewart.

And in addition to extreme skepticism about the media, I think he and his treatment of politicians and the media are the reason I happily identify as extremely liberal, but am completely unwilling to register or identify as a Democrat (except temporarily for primaries in Massachusetts). I think a lot of criticism levelled at him is that he's made my generation cynical about politics, but that's not exactly true - I think we're just cynical of the existing system and the limitations of it, and we're unwilling to quietly go along with it.

As much as I'm going to miss TDS, what I lament more is the loss of an extremely important cultural influence on teenagers who are like I was. I hope Trevor Noah, Larry Wilmore, John Oliver, and others can keep it up in their own ways.
posted by olinerd at 9:22 PM on August 9, 2015 [1 favorite]




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